With 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons, your feet are complex and amazing machines that take you places each day. And because your feet work so hard and have so many parts, a lot can go wrong.
Plantar fasciitis is one of those “little” things that can go wrong that can turn into a significant problem if left untreated. Here’s how to know if you have plantar fasciitis, and what you should do about it.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Your plantar fascia is a ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot and connects your heel to the ball of your foot and supports your arch. If it gets strained or overextended, it can get irritated and inflamed. This inflammation is known as plantar fasciitis. Repeated strains can cause tiny tears in the ligament, which result in increased pain and inflammation.
Know the Symptoms
The most common sign of plantar fasciitis is heel pain, especially first thing in the morning. This is because when you get out of bed, the plantar fascia may experience a sudden stretching or overextension after being in a more relaxed position at night. It can also get worse if you’ve been on your feet for a long time. Because most of these symptoms often come and go, many people think it’s not serious or simply ignore it.
What Causes It?
There is no single cause of plantar fasciitis, but the following can make you more likely to get it:
- Wearing shoes without proper arch support. This allows the ligament to overstretch.
- Being overweight. Excess weight may put more pressure on the plantar fascia.
- Having tight calves and Achilles tendons. This can result from wearing high heels frequently or simply not stretching the muscles enough.
- Having high arches or flat feet. Some people are simply born with a tendency toward plantar fasciitis due to the genetic mechanics of their foot.
- Being a runner or spend a lot of time on your feet. This puts strain on all the ligaments in your feet, including the plantar fascia. Make sure you wear quality, supportive footwear at all times.
What You Should Do
Foot pain should never be ignored. If you think you have plantar fasciitis, it’s important to have your feet examined by a podiatrist. Leaving it untreated can lead to further pain and tearing of the ligament, heel spurs, chronic heel pain, and even leg and back pain.
The condition can often be treated with non-invasive methods such as rest, ice, stretching, and proper supportive shoes. Throw out flimsy flip flops, old worn out shoes, and shoes that hurt your feet. Some cases may need physical therapy, orthotics, or a special boot or splint you wear at night.
Plantar fasciitis is a classic example of a common foot problem that is often successfully treated when caught early. If your feet hurt, they are trying to tell you something. Contact the office of Dr. Jeffery LaMour to schedule your appointment and learn how you can keep healthy for a lifetime!